Sunday, October 02, 2011
Back of the year: James Bailes
Forward of the year: Callan Artus
Youngster of the year: Dino Loizides
Veteran of the year: Kyle, Kyle Rennie
Most Valuable Player: Callan Artus
Cobra of the year: Dino Loizides
Players Player: Warren Butler
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
The belief is here, the talent is here, its time.
OH SO BRAVE
Beer Roster: (to bring to changing room after, anyone who is not on the list is please encourage to bring an extra six pack or two, shot)
Kyle, Kyle Rennie
Sunday, September 18, 2011
I want to wake up sweating. I want to wake up hearing that last, last, last 'SIIIIIIIIIIIIIING US A SONG YOU'RE the COBRAS MAN! SING US A SONG TONIGHT! FOR WE'RE ALL IN THE MOOD FOR A VICTORY... AAAND ITS GOT US FEELIN ALRIGHT! SIIIIIIIIIIIIING.... I want that fucking TROPHY!
Sorry... I got a little carried away there. Just needed to get that off my chest. Sorry guys. Sorry Raubs, sorry Bailo, sorry Callan, sorry Dil, sorry Junks, sorry Evan, sorry Jamie, sorry Khots. Sorry everyone. Sorry to let you down with that little outburst. I let my emotions get the better of me. But to be honest with you guys, the prospect of this final is a bit bitter, sweet I must say. I am a long way from my home, my physical home and my spiritual home. So what am I meant to do exactly? I mean... I am excited and I am jealous. I am pumped up, but strangely deflated. The prospect of the Cobras winning another trophy is bringing out all sorts of emotions I didn’t realize I possessed. Knowing that our boys face the final and biggest challenge of the season and I can’t be there to contribute makes me a little sad. But this isn’t about me it’s about the Cobras. I went out for dinner last night. A place called Megan’s. Quite nice. Looked like the entire restaurant had been pulled out of an interior decorator catalogue. Jar full of dried lemon rinds for aroma. Tick. Simple, yet elegant tables. Tick. The limited menu that says; “hey, we don’t do a lot of food, but what we do do, we do really well.” Tick. Quirky music pouring out of some hidden speaker that says; "we provide an intimate setting, but we're still here to have fun." Tick. Dull conversation with a girl you’ve never met about a job you don’t care about. Tick. The one irritating girl who doesn’t laugh at your insanely funny comments, and keeps rolling her eyes at you. Tick. The annoying hipster who makes the most obvious observations about the most obvious comments, that you had thought of ages ago but chose not to say because it was too bloody obvious, and then every one laughs with him like he’s some kind of fucking genius. Tick. Basically the kind of restaurant and the kind of night you’re happy to write off at ten. I was roped into it and it won’t happen again. I promise. I promise Shane, I promise Poen, I promise Dino, I promise Marzie, I promise Armo, I promise Warren, I promise Tom, I promise Fridge. (Not Hawski though, Hawski looooves those kinds of evenings. Hawski may or may not have brought his guitar along. Hawski may or may not be the guy who takes his jersey off at the table without keeping his t -shirt down to reveal just the slightest glimpse of a torso that even Ryan Reynolds would be proud of. Hawski may or may not be 'that guy'. Who knows).
Anyway. So we’re chatting away- you know: casual like- and one of the other guys at the table chirps up; “so Dugald do you think Oxford would beat UCT if they had to play a game against each other?” I took a moment because my comment obviously has some serious ramifications and I wasn’t about to get into an argument about such a thing in Megan's. Oh no... Not Megan's, not with el diablo (the bitch sitting opposite me) staring me down. So I simply said;” not sure about that but I am positive the Cobras would beat them both!” Now we all know the Cobras would struggle against UCT First XV. It would be a good game. A bit like Wales VS South Africa, but you always know that a Cobras win is unlikely- less so now that our team is starting to actually resemble the UCT First XV. But that’s not really the point. The point is that we have that beautiful sense of ability that courses through our veins. That inherent self- belief instilled in every member of the Cobras family. This, I believe, is what really separates the Cobras from every other team in the league.
I remember (fuck that sounds old) the days when we first came into the league and we played against a Nadoes team that resembled a French club side more than it did a UCT internal league team. I’ll never forget that game when a young long, greasy haired Graeme Steen was destroyed in a late tackle by the then UCT First team Captain who had at least six years on him. Graeme didn’t moan, didn’t winge to the ref, he just got up and got on with the game. Hard as fucking nails. I remember Wayne Wayzie, a New Zealander drafted in by UCT First XV for the season coming on for them and butchering our players. But fuck me did we get stuck in! Do you think Nick FW stood back and said; “well guys let’s just have fun, we can’t win.” We knew, and he knew that we couldn’t win, but that didn’t stop Nick shitting on us for missing tackles or dropping balls. In that first season the true Cobras ethos of battling for every inch was born. We’ve seen many clubs come and go. Turtles, MOB, SOcO Thocos or whatever their shit names were, all faded like most teams do when they play the Cobras. Those are the foundations on what is today a group of people who live to kill themselves every Wednesday night for the love of their team mates.
So where are we now? Five years on, new faces, new songs but the same fundamental attitude remains. The songs and the change room sessions are a big part of who we are, but it’s that desire to fight every minute of every game that sets us apart from the rest. None of that arrogant Nadoes; we were here first bullshit, just stoic belief in ourselves, and the guys around us. If it isn’t Kyle Rennie picking from the base then it’s Cal groveling at the bottom of the ruck. If it’s not Warren Butler slotting from the half- way line then it’s Poenie sizing up the man in front of him and shunting him backwards. If it isn’t Raubs leg driving then it’s Rayaann sliding effortlessly into the corner. If it isn’t you, then it will be one of your team- mates.
So what am I going to do on Wednesday night? I could ask Mano From Heaven to sort out a live feed for me, but I don’t want to take his focus off the game. I could ask Dil to give me continuous live updates, but unfortunately the oke is arguably the least reliable human being when it comes to answering calls or messages. Bailes would give me brilliant accounts of the game, he could probably even give me all the heights and weights of every player on the pitch. James Bailes is rugby! I could ask any one of the many Cobras crew that will be lining the field, hopefully hurling abuse and encouragement in equal measure (Encouragement!). But I won't.
The truth is I choose to rely on the abrupt score updates from my father. His massive fingers are not ideal for typing text messages on a cold evening on the Green mile, but he’ll persevere because he knows what the Cobras means to me. It’s part of our family now. I think my mum gave up giving me lectures on going to lectures on Thursdays a long time ago because she knows what Wednesday night means. When my bro started playing for Cobras in matric the Cobras logo was sewn on to the chest of every piece of clothing in the house. (That's figuratively speaking. Can hear a couple of you slower lads- not necessarily the props- going: ahhh what? You see what I have tried to do there is explain just how much my family loves the Cobras. How it means something to us. You see? Sure? I could explain it again.) Anyway- we love the Cobras.
So bring me that fucking trophy gentlemen! I want to be tossing in my bed on Wednesday night, I want to be haunted by the thoughts of all of you drinking yourselves to a stand still. I want to wake up sweating with Kyyyyyyyyyle, Kyyyyyyyyyle Rennie! ringing in my ears. I want to feel that cold, wet cement floor on my knees as I go down for one last 'Hoist up the Cobras sail...' I want to fall asleep quietly singing; “I wanna go home, I wanna goo hoooooooooome! This is the best team I’ve ever played for!” da dada da dada…. And on Wednesday night I will truly know what that song means. Those words will never hold such weight as they are going to on Wednesday. I am going to celebrate by myself, not necessarily on Wednesday night but come Friday, I'll have a beer or two, sure.
So that’s my little contribution chaps (Graeme Steen voice). It’s not much, but it’s about all I can give you at this point. It’s not Al Pacino, but it’s probably the best I’ve got. Probably. Much better in person. Of course. If you win, massive sesh at my house on my return. If you lose… Well who we’re kidding. THE COBRAS. DON’T FUCKING. LOSE!
Fucking Cobras ‘til I die! Come on!
So until then…
ALWAYS TAKE THE WEATHER WITH YOU!
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
10) Warren B
Oh so brave
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
‘Eat, pray, ruck’ provides unique insight into the world of one of professional rugby’s most controversial and misunderstood players. This autobiography, co- authored by close friend and teammate Guthro Steenkamp, sheds light on the humbling tale that is the life of John Philip “Bakkies” Botha. Botha opens up time and again over the hardships of growing up in the coal mining town of Newcastle in Kwa- Zulu Natal. His parents, Sally and Ian Botha, did their best to bring him up ‘proper’ (as Bakkies says) but still he struggled to stay out of trouble. Having been born 4’5” and 35kg, and then shooting up to 6’3” by the age of nine, Bakkies would always be labelled an aggressor and a trouble maker by parents and authorities. A label he still wears today. In Eat, pray, ruck, Bakkies digs into his past to identify the root of his pain and anger. For four relentless Chapters Guthro and Bakkies take us through Botha’s painful and troubled youth. The authors make no apologies for their style, which is not dissimilar to a schizophrenic attempting to write a diary.
Finally, in Chapter 5 we discover the truth behind Botha’s aggressive nature. In what can only be described as truly profound self- reflection, Bakkies Botha explains that the fundamental reason for his extreme aggression is the fact that despite his strong Afrikaans heritage he would, having been born in Kwa- Zulu Natal, be expected to play for the Sharks when he matured into the professional rugby player that everyone knew he would become. Stylistically the book struggles for flow, but true emotion shown in these types of realisations are hard to come by in the world of sport. Now, and only now, is the rugby world coming to grips with this shocking revelation. Knowing what we know now- that Bakkies suffered terribly from inselachophobia (fear of becoming a shark), I am sure that the rugby world can once and for all forgive him for all his wrong doings on the pitch. No man should have to go through life knowing that they are expected to play for the Sharks one day. Like paedophilia, human trafficking and children in poverty, this is one of the worst burdens for a child to bear.
Springbok teammate and Provincial opponent Gio Aplon had this to say having read Bakkies’ book:
“When Bakkies head butted me that day at Newlands, as he has done many times before, I wanted him banned from rugby for life. I hated him. But now, now you tell me how he grew up angry and why he has all this aggression- I realise that it is fair. Bakkies, I am sorry you had to go through that. Had I grown up knowing what you knew I think I would have ended up a gangster. And I thought I had it rough in the flats.”
His fear of becoming a shark ran so deep that even when offered a R2 million bribe to join the Sharks in 2006, he flatly refused the offer.
From Chapter 5 onwards we learn how Bakkies turned his fortunes around. When he finally realised that he did not necessarily have to play for the Sharks his life changed forever. This news was like a message from God and so with his move to the Bulls Bakkies also became deeply religious. Finding freedom helped him to find religion. The expression; ‘he prays before he slays’, is born from Bakkies’ pre- game ritual of praying to God and thanking him for allowing him to change his path, a path that previously led to King’s Park in Durban. Despite his newly found spirituality, Bakkies still remained incredibly aggressive and dangerous on the field. It seemed he welcomed his newly acquired nickname; ‘the enforcer.’ However, what most people don’t realise is that when he prays he thanks God for allowing him the choice of not having to go to the Sharks, thus enabling all those old feelings of pain and anger to resurface. When he goes out onto the pitch these emotions can sometimes push him over that fine line between positive aggression and utter chaos. The controversial, ‘Justice 4’, campaign in the 2009 British Lion tour to South Africa was a statement from the Springboks to highlight Bakkies’ innocence, trying to expose the real reason for Bakkies’ aggression. Having heard about it after the game the ‘victim’, Adam Jones, had this to say:
"Botha shouldn't have been banned for it, nowhere near it. I don't have any complaints.” I grew up in a comfy Welsh mining village- I have no right to judge Bakkies given his terrible past. You see, in the Northern hemisphere we just aren’t exposed to the horrors of the developing world- like possibly playing for the Sharks.”
All things considered ‘Eat, pray, ruck’ is a well- balanced and truly inspirational sporting autobiography that really cuts to the core of what it is to be a misunderstood sportsman in the limelight. The timing for Botha couldn’t be any better with one sporting journalist claiming that:
“Bakkies Botha contributes to the sport of rugby in much the same way as the Old Testament contributes to the Christian faith- with a violent passion that was only really acceptable two hundred years ago."
Quite possibly the most accurate description of Botha’s character by any sports journalist in South Africa to date. Nonetheless ‘Eat, pray, ruck’ makes no excuses and helps to cement the reader’s view of Bakkies Botha as one of the greatest Springboks of all time.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
3) Nic Lassen
5) Stu Black
7) Kyle, Kyle Rennie
Monday, August 22, 2011
Ubumbo has been one of our older and fiercest rivals with the two teams having met 5 times in the past 6 years, here are how the results have gone...
2006: Cobras 14 - 0 Ubumbo
2007: Cobras 12 - 12 Ubumbo
2007 Semi: Cobras 19 - 15 Ubumbo
2008: Cobras 5 - 14 Ubumbo
2010 Semi: Cobras 15 - 3 Ubumbo
That's 3 wins to Cobras, 1 draw and 1 loss...which illustrates just how big Wednesday's match is...
It's the first knock out game of 2011, and is a big occasion which will require a big performance from the Purple and White.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Anyway... Flashback - 49 games ago, Tom Brukman lead a young and talented side out onto the field for the first time (I was 13 at the time, I know fuuck some of these dudes are old haha). The crowd watched in anticipation as a somewhat unknown Cobras outfit took the field and with a dazzling display of running rugby, running in tries from all angles, the Purple Cobras had arrived onto the UCT internal league scene, the match ended 33-0. Ok exit flashback, back to this week - The Spanners, yes that’s their real name, stupid isn’t it? They have played pretty well this year and they’ll come at us hard as they try to steal that top spot in our group away. So we are going to need a massive performance to annihilate these dudes and crush their dreams at the throat.
I struck gold in the fact I managed to land an interview with Cobras stalwart and veteran flyhalf, Warren Butler himself, I caught him in the middle of his mid afternoon walk in the park with his pre-fiencee, Julz, and managed to persuade her to give me 10 minutes of their precious time. I also attempted to get Ian Armstrong some questions but due to the fact that he hasn’t been at one touch session or captain’s practice this year, I was unable to contact him. Back to the real deal, here it went:
Dino: Can you share with us your pregame ritual and how you get yourself amped to do what you do for what is now your 6th season in the purple and white?
Warren: I have a fairly basic pre-game ritual, which normally starts on a Tuesday night with lots of tossing and turning in bed as I quietly humm myself to sleep to the tune of Kyle, Kyle Rennie. Wednesday's are tough days for me, normally starts with a message onto the Cobras BBM group describing my excitement. I don't make many classes on Wednesday's as I feel it distracts me from the task at hand. I can't sit still for more than 5 minutes, over the years it would have been a walk down to Cavendish from the White House, kicking a ball and talking about the game at Bugs place and these days it normally starts by fetching you from your place, heading to the Cottage to have a game of Tiger Woods, one cup of Coffee (3 sugars on match day) one glass of water, a pass of a ball, past the bottle store to pick up a case and finally onto Cecil where I can't hide a big smile as I see the excitement of The Cobras as they gather for a-nother Co-bras vic-tory!
Dino: It was been an aweome season so far, what has been your best cobras rugby moment so far? and even more, what has been your best cobras 'everything else' moment off the field?
Warren: It has been a great season so far and the new faces in the family really has rejuvinated our vibe and brought a whole new dimension to The Cobras. It's hard to single out a specific on field moment as I feel every game and minute I get on the field is a special occasion in itself, it's such a privilidge to be able to be a part of something like this, and the fact is not many people have or will ever experience something remotely close to this. As for results, the white wash over a tough Wild Boys side was a highlight, also the maturity and composure shown while pushing aside Claredon was also pretty special, although I feel there are far bigger highlights to come! Off the field, has to be the moment when the tents were set up and all the guys gathered around in a cirlce on James Corder's farm in Elgin for the tour welcome, to look around and see 30 of my mates all amped and raring to go really did send shivers down my spine.
Dino: This year we have blooded alot of new faces into the purple and white, if you had to give them advice as young cobras for the next 4-7 years, what words of wisdom would you give them?
Warren: Firstly just to enjoy every single moment of The Cobras, whether it's on the field, standing in the rain as a reserve, sitting in the changeroom drinking a beer...grab every little piece of Cobras you can and hold on tight to it. Also to focus on the finer things, whether it's offering to pour beers, taking water bottles onto the field, running that extra 20 metres to make that final tackle whatever it is, if all the smaller things are done 110%, then everything else will be taken care of. No Regrets!
Dino: With the 'business end' of the competition coming up, how key will our experienced campaigners be in the road to that Illustrous trophey?
Warren: We all know the saying 'You can't buy experience' which is only partly true in our case, as the amount of talent, belief and ability amoungst the younger guys in the side most certainly keeps the older guys on their toes. I feel it won't be the influence of the more experienced guys but rather a combination of the two that will be far more beneficial to the greater cause.
Dino: And finally, tommorrow night, Cobras FTW?
Warren: You bet your fucking life on it!
The man really knows his stuff. Food For thought.
Ok back to details, we are having captain’s run 2moro at half 4 on the C field and dinner at Hudsons. We are meeting at cecil at half 4 sharp on Wednesday, kickoff is at 5.30. On this note with out further a due here’s the starting line up:
2) Warren Handley
4) Tom Horne
6) Callan ©
10) Warren Butler
11) Stu Black
Beer roster is:
5. Warren H
Camaan lets do this!
OH SO BRAVE.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Although the continuity of this league is extremely frustrating with about a game being played every third week, we are in the process of organising two friendlies before our next game, the first one in the pipeline is against the Babrows, who are the UCT u20A2's. More on this game to follow...
Well done to Mike Blanckenberg for walking away witht the Cobragator man of the match award, and also a special mention to the 6 new debutants last night, as was the case in the fines, Cobras Till I Die!
Oh so brave
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
As I’m sure most of you have already heard, this past Wednesday night fines was truly special, not only because 15 guys finished 12 cases of beer, but it gave Warren Handley and I the privilege to be fines masters together. As two of the youngest members in the squad, we were both excited and nervous at the task ahead of us, as this was one of the most important rituals that make up the Cobras team. As I closed that door and looked around at the other 13 faces looking to us to start, I could not help but break out into a smile, not because of poen’s facial hair or that we’d tricked Mike Nel into staying when he was about to leave, but because I knew that there was no other place on earth that I’d rather be. It was the moment when we were all standing around my phone, waiting to send Warren Butler a voice message something like – oooooohhhh Wazz is fucking magic… - when I stopped to look around. Any person that didn’t know the Cobras walking into that changing room would have been amazed at how peculiar this group of individuals looked. 15 guys, ranging ages from 19 to 26 (I think) all huddled around a cell phone screaming their lungs out with facial expressions of pure love for what they were doing (plus callan and Poen weren’t wearing their shirts again and Army was chundering in the dustbin). But my real point is - that night there was no difference between a 19 year old and a 25 year old, no difference between guys who’d been in the team since the beginning or someone who was playing his 2nd match. It was just 15 friends - singing songs, having a good time and drinking a shitload of beer.
Now don’t get me wrong, Wednesday is still fresh off mind so I’m using it as an example but cases like Stefan’s birthday, anytime at the cottage, tin roof nights when people believing that Warren was my brother and Steen my uncle, shouting matches outside my house with Bug and Kyle or even the odd trip to Anton Taylor’s flat/lift are also perfect examples of how the Cobras has built memories and great times this year already. Is this not exactly what we are trying to achieve in our team? A bond between the older generation and the younger generation that is so strong that you’d think that we were all in the same grade together at school? That is exactly what we have achieved, and it is incredible to experience.
So yes, some of us may be getting older and starting to settle down - Steen seems to be settling down more than most – “I’m going to the chapel…” – sorry sidetracked, but seriously, the strength of the Cobras lies in our experienced players, in their ability to lead but as well teach us youngsters the ropes. The fact that there are no boundaries of age in the team has helped mould the Cobras to what we are today and what we will be in the future. As the weather man said, change is good and we should embrace it, but we must always remember who laid down the foundations in which this franchise has been built upon. Most importantly, together, we can win the whole thing this year. With the older guys leading from the front, and the younger guys filling in with them, who can stop us?
This is the man from the Greek Islands. Out.
Your first memory of The Cobras?
It was the first match in 2010, dont remember the exact date, all i remember it ended with me being sloshed in the change room, hitting the captains boot, and singing them cobras songs!
Preferred position on the field?
Favorite Cobras song?
Where is the best spot to bird watch on campus?
Where could we find you on any given night on the jol?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Black Label or Castle?
Blackie, as he can step and out run u, whist facing u backwards with his eyes closed, and all u have to do is act like your shoe lace came undone.
Which Cobra would you want with you if you were stuck on a deserted island and why?
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
It's the final game of the semester which sees The Cobras facing up against Clarendon, which is a Res team. As Nico would say, it's a massive game and we will come out firing. The two sides have only met once before in the Internal League, dating back to 2009 when The Cobras won the fixture 31 - 13.